Young people's preferences towards the future of health and social care services in Sussex - findings during the Coronavirus pandemicDownload (PDF 8.97MB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Brighton & Hove and Young Healthwatch undertook research to explore young people’s experiences of Sussex health and social care services during the coronavirus pandemic and to find out their preferences about the future of health and social care. They had 146 responses to an online survey.
The majority of young people who needed health and social care support during the pandemic have booked appointments. The main reasons for delaying appointments included feeling that their condition wasn’t serious enough to warrant seeking help, not wanting to burden health services during the pandemic and being able to get information online.
Young people that did get an appointment were more likely to have phone rather than video or online appointments. Most were satisfied or very satisfied with these. The main advantages were around saving time and money for travel and shorter waiting times. However young people raised a number of concerns about remote appointments, including: anxiety and difficulty to express oneself through phone or video appointments; issues with technology during video calls; remote appointments not being appropriate when prescribing a new medication or treating specific conditions that require a face-to-face assessment.
A high proportion of young people were not happy to receive mental health support remotely. They preferred face-to-face appointments, as they found they couldn’t establish rapport and communicate effectively with the health or social care professional remotely, they felt anxious , they had issues of privacy and confidentiality of data. Young people wanted patients to be able to choose the type of appointment they feel most comfortable with and for health professionals to take into account the patient's type of condition and severity to decide the most suitable appointment type.
The research also highlighted the impact of the main challenges faced by young people during the pandemic, including not being able to see friends and family, and feeling isolated. Young people also recognised some positives about the coronavirus pandemic that they hope will change society for better in the future, including a greater sense of community and a greater focus on funding health and social care services and a better recognition of keyworkers.